Connect with us

Sports

Curtain Falls On Tokyo Olympics

Published

on

The Tokyo Olympics, postponed and played out behind closed doors because of the Covid pandemic, concluded with an upbeat ceremony in Japan’s capital yesterday.
The Games took place without spectators and athletes were barred from venturing outside the Olympic village.
Their staging has faced local opposition and around 30 protestors jostled with police at the National Stadium before the closing ceremony.
However, other locals have braved heat and warnings to watch events from afar.
Fans took in outdoor events, such as triathlon and BMX, from overpasses and other vantage points despite temperatures that reached 35C, the hottest ever recorded at an Olympics.
The Games’ official sign-off, featuring ska bands, football freestylers, breakdancers and BMX riders, created more made-for-TV memories, culminating in athletes thanking the people of Japan by making a heart gesture with their hands.
A scaled-down parade of flagbearers, missing 62 of the competing nations, started proceedings in Tokyo before an air display team painted the French tricolore across the sky in Paris, the host city for 2024.
Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto, who appeared at seven Games as a speed skater and then a track cyclist, told the athletes: “There are no words to describe what you have achieved.
“You have accepted what seemed unimaginable, understood what had to be done, and through hard work and perseverance overcome unbelievable challenges.”
She added: “This has made you true Olympians.”
Athletes had daily swabs to test for coronavirus and wore face masks when not eating, training or competing. After they had finished competing, they had 48 hours to leave the athletes’ village.
The Games were postponed a year from their original 2020 date and, as the global pandemic raged, Japanese support wavered, with unfavourable opinion polls in the months before and even the country’s Emperor Naruhito expressing concerns about their staging.
The banning of spectators from most venues denied the Japanese public a chance to watch a summer Games close up for the first time since Tokyo 1964 and the climax of an eight-year wait after winning the hosting rights in Buenos Aires in 2013.
As ever, the Games produced a shower of stars. American swimmer Caeleb Dressel won five golds in the pool. Jamaican Elaine Thompson-Herah won another three on the track. Gymnast Daiki Hashimoto won two for the home nation in gymnastics.
But, equally inevitably, there were moments that no-one could have expected.
Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi and Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim deciding to share high-jump gold rather than contest the title.
Norwegian Lotte Miller consoling Belgian rival Claire Michel after she came in last in the triathlon.

Continue Reading

Sports

D’Tigress’ Onyemere Celebrates X Billboard Appearance

Published

on

Stunning Nigeria D’Tigress forward, Michaela Onyemere recently celebrated her appearance on the X (Twitter) billboard campaign, describing it as a dream come true.
The Chicago Sky player, who is part of the D’Tigress roster for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, shared her excitement on Instagram, advising her fans not to give up their dream but to work towards their realisation.
She wrote, “If you tweet it, you can be it. I am so honoured to be a part of this Twitter billboard campaign alongside so many other influential people. Chase your dreams to the fullest extent, no matter how crazy people think you might be. I was 13 when I tweeted this, and eight years later, here we are! If you can believe it, I promise you can be it. Dream big always.”
According to her, the billboards are located in New York at 7th Ave and 49th Street, 42nd Street and 8th Ave, Times Square, Bryant Park Subway Station, and newsstands throughout Midtown; San Francisco in Kearney WS and Montgomery Muni Station; Los Angeles in the Hollywood Roosevelt and Sepulveda WS.
Onyemwere was selected sixth overall in the first round of the 2021 WNBA Draft, and she got off to a flying start with the New York Liberty; her average of 8.6 points and 2.9 rebounds per game, plus 37 three-pointers made, was the highest among all rookies in her class.

Continue Reading

Sports

OlympAfrica Chess Competition Holds In PH …Boy Six Performs Excellently

Published

on

OlympAfrica University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT)  Centre recently held Schools Chess Competition, at Professor Ken Anugweje building UNIPORT Sports complex.
The competition was between some selected primary and secondary schools in Rivers State, which attracted huge attendance , including some professional Chess players.
The Director of OlympAfrica UNIPORT centre in Nigeria, Dr. Chukwuemeka Agi in different fora has said the purpose of the competition was to help children build their career and encourage them.
“The reason why OlympAfrica organise various sporting tournaments and competitions was to assist the young ones build their career in any sport.
“You know is better we catch them young and direct their footsteps to enable them become useful to themselves and the nation”, Dr. Agi said.
Speaking with Victor Ayanwale,  the youngest player age six, in the competition, from King Amachree Sports Academy, in Harry’s Town, Rivers State, said his dream was to become one of the best Chess players in the world.
According to him, he started playing Chess at the age of five, mentored by his father, saying that he enjoys playing the game as it helps him to reason help.
“ I  started playing Chess at the age of five, it was my father that was teaching me. I want to become number in one Chess in this country.
“I enjoy playing Chess because it makes me happy and think well. I want other children to play Chess because it is good”, Ayanwale said.
Highlight of the event was presentation of medals, certificates and trophies to winners.

Continue Reading

Sports

Female Athletes Are Nigeria’s Olympic Hopefuls – NOC 

Published

on

The Secretary-General of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Tunde Popoola, has said that Nigeria’s medal hopes at the Paris Olympics largely rest on female athletes such as Tobi Amusan and Ese Brume.
Despite participating in the Olympics since 1952, Nigeria has only secured a total of 27 medals, including just two gold medals, both won in 1996 in Atlanta.
This remains the country’s most successful outing, with Chioma Ajunwa winning gold in the women’s long jump and the football team, led by Kanu Nwankwo, clinching the second at the expense of super powers Argentia and Brazil.
“The men dominated previously, but this time, it’s all about the women. They qualified for the football event and almost every single event in athletics. It’s a good thing, and we appreciate their growth,” he said in an interview with Tidesports source.
“The women have done more because they are more committed. I’m not saying the men aren’t, but women are more dedicated, and that’s the reason they are doing well.”
Ajunwa’s achievement in 1996 stands out as Nigeria’s only individual Olympic gold medal, highlighting the persistent trend of Nigeria’s female athletes consistently outperforming their male counterparts.
This trend continued at the 2000 Sydney Games, where Gloria Alozie secured a silver medal in the women’s 110-metre hurdles, salvaging Nigeria’s presence on the podium.
In the most recent Tokyo Games, Team Nigeria won two medals, both from women: Brume, who claimed bronze in the women’s long jump, and Blessing Oborududu, who won silver in wrestling.
With the Paris Games only weeks away, it appears hopes are once again pinned on the women to bring home medals.
Nigeria’s female athletes are world-class, while many of their male counterparts, particularly in athletics, are less experienced.
Taiwo Popoola, Vice President of the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation, echoed these sentiments, attributing the women’s success to their dedication.
“The women have done more because they are more committed. I’m not saying the men aren’t, but women are more dedicated, and that’s the reason they are doing well,” he said.
To put the NTF VP’s statement in perspective, Elizabeth Anyanacho, another female athlete, is the only qualified taekwondoist for the Paris Olympics. She was also Nigeria’s only representative in the sport at Tokyo 2022.
Nigeria’s medal hopes in Paris largely rest on the shoulders of athletes like Tobi Amusan, Brume, wrestlers Oborududu, and Odunayo Adekuruoye.
Amusan, in particular, is a standout athlete. She set a world record time of 12.40 seconds in the women’s hurdles in Kingston, Jamaica, in May 2024.

Continue Reading

Trending